In a federal court in Los Angeles on May 16, 2016, two L.A. deputy sheriffs were found guilty of beating a mentally ill man and then attempting to cover up the crime. A jury found against both Jason Branum and Bryan Brunsting. The trial lasted four days. Sentencing will occur in a few weeks. The case highlights apparent continuing abuse of L.A. county jailed inmates.
The three charges on which the convictions rest are conspiring to violate the civil rights of the inmate, of using their position as jailers to deprive him of his civil rights and also of falsifying records to attempt covering up the beating. The incident occurred at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. A trainee officer testified that the defendants told him that they were “going to teach [the inmate] a lesson.” The beating continued even though the mentally ill prisoner never got off the ground.
The witness against the two men was a trainee who had graduated at the top of his class. In defending the pair, the attorneys attempted to paint the trainee as untrustworthy and inconsistent in his testimony. However, the jury did not agree with this defense and found the two accused guilty.
By Bob Reinhard
Edited by Cathy Milne
Los Angeles Times: Two L.A. sheriff’s deputies convicted of beating mentally ill inmate
Patch: LA Jail Deputies Convicted of Inmate Abuse and Conspiracy
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